Meghan Markle Under Fire for Not Including the Queen on Vogue Cover

While many have applauded Meghan Markle’s selection of women to feature on the cover of the September British Vogue issue she guest-edited, titled “Forces for Change,” she’s also facing some criticism. Some critics believe there’s one impressive woman who didn’t make the cut: Queen Elizabeth II.

Meghan Markle snub Queen Elizabeth Vogue cover
Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth II | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The significance of the women featured on the Vogue cover

Markle carefully selected a diverse lineup of 15 women to grace the cover, which includes actor and women’s rights advocate Salma Hayek Pinault, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, LQBTQIA+ advocate and actor Laverne Cox, climate activist Greta Thunberg, and youth voting activist and actor Yara Shahidi, among others. There is one mirrored space that reflects the reader’s image when they look at the cover.

A Sussex Royal Instagram post explained: “For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective.”

Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, said of Markle’s decision not to be included on the cover herself: “In the end, she felt that it would be in some ways a ‘boastful’ thing to do for this particular project. She wanted, instead, to focus on the women she admires.”

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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. • “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring. To deep dive into this process, working quietly behind the scenes for so many months, I am happy to now be able to share what we have created. A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover. Thank you for saying “Yes!” – and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” – The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange

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Why some people believe the Queen should be on the cover

Naturally, just about anything that Markle does is criticized, so it’s not too shocking to hear that she’s under fire for not including the Queen.

One Twitter user asked: “Why isn’t HM The Queen included on the cover of September’s Vogue, @RoyalFamily? Her Majesty is the perfect role model: like many of us she had no choice but to do the job she was given. The ultimate in grace & discretion for 70+ years.”

Another user noted: “Pathetic front page. Where are doctors, scientists, teachers. Why a child climate change activist who should be in school? Where is Her Majesty the Queen? #vogue #Meghan #duchessofsussex #selfindulgent.”

One critic believes the Queen would find Markle’s efforts “idiotic”

One loud Markle critic, The Sun’s Dan Wootton, is not a fan of the duchess’ involvement with the issue at all, going so far as to say that the Queen would find it “idiotic.”

During an interview on ITV’s Lorraine, Wootton explained, “The Queen will think this is an absolutely idiotic ridiculous decision, as do I.”

He added: “Remember Meghan doesn’t want to be a celebrity, she says she wants to be a royal. Royals don’t guest edit magazines, celebrities guest edit magazines. Do you get me? Do you see the point that I’m making?”

Wootton further claimed, “I feel I need to bring a bit of reality to the situation. Vogue is probably the most elite expensive snobby fashion-dominated, skinny-dominated magazine in the entire world. This is not some great mainstream force for good, this is a magazine for the elite.”